The world of the past can validly be compared to today’s in most cases, and it is all the time.
People are the same, with the same goals and dreams and psychology. That’s why when you read the Odissey, it’s still a modern and compelling book.
Technology has changed, but so it had in 1917, compared to 100 years previous.
A doctor does basically the same job, even though science and technology have greatly advanced. So do a lawyer, a bank teller, a designer, and in each of their cases, digitisation has completely revolutionised their fields. Yet they are still paid for the hours they put in, they look for employment and they have salaries.
You are right to be angry at the current state of things, but that is not because of people who adverse IP rights, but because of the corporations taking unfair advantage of them, and creating a market that ultimately screws passionate people like you, not allowing them to have a normal salaried career like the optometrist on the corner.